Before that, I spent a long weekend with my dad's family in El Paso, especially enjoying the time with my little sister who just turned two. She's more physically manageable than the last time I saw her, when she had just learned to walk and was seriously lacking the motor skills to avoid catastrophe on her constant, single-minded quest to get her hands on everything in sight. Now she's more coordinated and smarter, almost astonishingly so, but unfortunately she also came down with some sort of bug the night I arrived and spent a lot of the weekend grumpy and feverish.
I definitely assumed this was something minor that was just being exaggerated by the Terrible Two's, but I definitely ate my words late this week when I realized I had caught the thing from her. And oh! My god! The sore throat, body aches, and relentless headache that no drug in the house could cure!
At first, I thought my body might just be reacting to the days and days of rain we've had around here. Central Texas tends to get the fringes of whatever goes on in the Gulf, in this case a hurricane with a tropical storm chaser. I learned in Cambridge (which, ironically, had sun and temperatures over 100 most of the week) that rainy weather can make me feel pretty sluggish and sore. But when the throat stuff set in, I had to admit that I might really be sick.
I've been dog-sitting for my mom, so luckily I had her comfortable couch, full kitchen, and HBO On Demand to help me rest and feel sorry for myself. However, I was also in charge of a pooping, barking, feeble, deaf old dog who pushed me right over the edge a few times just by existing. In other words, having ONLY thrown the few tantrums I saw last weekend makes my sister an absolute angel.
I'm feeling better today, and I even put in a little work at the yoga studio and hung out with friends all afternoon and evening. On the way home I talked to my dad, who said my stepmom also got sick from my sister and saw a doctor who told her it's a herpes virus (like chicken pox, cold sores, and mono) that likes to wreak havoc at daycare centers and rarely infects adults unless they have little kids. (Awesome time to visit, Lea.) There's not much I can do, but she says it should end suddenly after a couple days.
I'll be taking it easy tomorrow, but back at work on Monday, trying not to need any time off so I can guiltlessly take a day when Russell visits in ONE WEEK. We have so little planned, just one dinner and a possible trip to Schlitterbahn, but I'm so ready I can hardly stand it.
In other news, I received my financial aid offer from Harvard this week. The grant portion keeps getting more generous, but the cost of living keeps climbing, so I'll be borrowing about the same as last year. The difference is, early this year I'll have the option to commit to five years of public interest work after graduation in exchange for the tuition part of that debt being waived completely. With all my interests in the public sector anyway, this is the ideal bargain for me. Especially in the year when, according to a friend of mine, the cost of attending Harvard has risen above the average income for an entire American family.
Moral of the story: thank goodness for financial aid, not so much for toddlers. (Just kidding, I already can't wait to see her again.)